Zimbabwe to get 300,000-ton corn delivery to aid drought impact

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Zimbabwe’s government expects to take delivery of 300,000 tons of corn this month to boost national reserves following a drought that reduced its harvest.

“The government of Zimbabwe has dispatched 53,826 metric tons of grain under the social welfare program,” Information Minister Jenfan Muswere told reporters in the capital, Harare on Tuesday.

The private sector has imported 168,000 metric tons of maize and 17,000 metric tons of wheat since April, Muswere said. He did not disclose where the corn due for delivery was sourced from.

Last month, Zimbabwe said more than half of its population will need food aid until March due to a drought caused by weather phenomenon El Niño, destroyed the nation’s corn crop, a staple in the southern African country.

Neighboring countries have not been spared from the El Niño effect which triggered a dry spell across the southern tip of the continent, cutting South Africa’s corn crop by at least a fifth. Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe have declared states of national disaster due to crop failures.

Zimbabwe’s population consumes 2.2 million tons of corn annually but the country expects to harvest 744,271 tons of maize this year, almost 70% less than a year earlier.